The Uncorking of Mama

Did you know that today is
National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day and it is celebrated on June 13 every year to celebrate all of us who have ever been a klutz in the kitchen. Many of us have dropped our best Pyrex on the floor or had to Google sauté vs simmer. If you have ever mangled a pancake or had your pasta boil over, then this day is for you. It’s a reminder that all of us have been klutzes in the kitchen at one point or another and that we should just have a good laugh about it. Now mind you I’ve come a long way in my kitchen expertise and knowledge of wine 🍷 but there was a time when I felt like I was part of some hidden camera reality sit com show and nobody told me I was the star ⭐️ … so in honor of this kitchen klutz day I present to you a story from 2014 when I surely should’ve been nominated to the kitchen klutz hall of fame!

The Healthy Habit Lady

Sometimes I wonder how I have lived 45 years on this Earth and still feel like such a novice newbie when it comes to all things cooking, especially if it involves wine.  This mama is wine-impaired, I tell ya.

So in my adventures of making new things in the kitchen, I went shopping to get the missing ingredients for my weekly meal plan.  Yes, I actually made a meal plan.  Shocking, I know.  Not typical of my ENFP personality.

First recipe on my list was Beef Burgundy.  I needed to buy Burgundy Wine.  Um, okay – can’t find that.  So I finally gave up and settled for red wine!  I was also looking for Marsala Wine to make a Chicken Marsala recipe. Um, can’t find that one either.  And it’s not like the wine selection is some tiny little section, we’re talking bazillions of choices here.  Now being the total geek that I am…

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Our Favorite Winery

Lord knows my husband and I love to take off on road trips, explore things off the beaten path, find local faire whenever possible and just enjoy seeing new places. However, in all of our jaunts, our very favorite wine tasting room/winery is only 30 minutes from our house in Sulphur Springs, Texas. If you are ever in the area, you should definitely check out Phinessé Farms Winery. Their story is one right out of a romantic novel almost, and someone should make a movie about them. Seriously. Love these people. The owners and staff are amazing. This is now a cherished spot for our date nights close to home. Here is their website:

I am incredibly picky when it comes to trying new things regarding food/beverage, as most of you know. This is especially true of wine or alcohol. However; this winery has honestly earned the title of favorite in my book – and the fact that their wines are low sulfates – even better. I am starting to think I am going to be doing a lot of Christmas shopping here. They sell hand painted wine glasses, created by the owner’s mother, who is in her 90’s I think. Exquisitely impressive.

Also noteworthy – especially since I’m the Healthy Habit Lady – is that they create and sell a wonderful supplement. Phinessé Farms currently produces muscadine powder from the skins and seeds of the Noble muscadine grape. Research has shown tremendous health benefits associated with the muscadine grape with the highest concentration of antioxidants in the skins and seeds. Their muscadine powder is sun-dried skins and seeds which is then milled and ground into a fine powder. One half teaspoon a day of this healthy gift of nature gives the body a healthy dose of antioxidants for helping to fight many ailments. Review the research on the web and determine for yourself if muscadine powder may be right for you. If so, consider purchasing the product at Phinessé Farms. You can’t go wrong with just pure muscadine skin and seed powder with no fillers. Here is a link to their online store:

The first time we visited this place, I left my jacket there. We didn’t return again for a few weeks, and I had no idea I left my jacket at the winery. I had looked everywhere, assuming it was long gone. When we returned for our 2nd visit, the ever-so-pleasant lady remembered us and brought me my jacket. She even remembered I loved the blackberry wine. I was impressed (and hooked). We now return often.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from this quaint and friendly spot. We like it so much we joined their wine club, and I never thought I would do that anywhere 🙂

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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Story Time

Recently, a friend of mine asked me how I ever became involved with high school foreign exchange students. She didn’t know me back then and wondered how I started down a path that would lead to hosting over a dozen different teenagers from all over the world (not concurrently, mind you).

Well, the year was 2003. I was very pregnant. We had just moved into a new house and boxes were everywhere. I also had a foster daughter in the 1st grade that we were in the process of adopting. Meanwhile, my husband and I were both working full time and he was taking college courses at night. To say we were busy — would be an understatement.

Through a friend of a friend, typical networking, we found out about a young lady coming to the United States from Russia. At the last minute, her volunteer host family fell apart. It happens. A wonderful woman, named Tanya, was scrambling to find a place for this teenager to stay. I remember telling Tanya that we did indeed have an extra bedroom, but it was filled with boxes and I was very pregnant, still working, etc. However; she didn’t miss a beat. I was willing to open my home so she was willing to help. She literally helped me unpack boxes and get that room ready. She even went with us to the airport to pick up our student upon arrival. That young lady from Russia stayed with us for the school year. She says we changed her life; but I say she changed mine. All in the most wonderful and profound ways.

This experience launched a path in which I had NO idea would evolve into global friendships and even a career. That first exchange student we hosted from Russia was 15 years old back then. Present day she is married with children ~ and we still keep in touch. Meanwhile, Tanya and I have remained good friends and are connected in so many ways. I truly consider her a dear friend and someone I am honored to know.

Working with high school foreign exchange students and volunteer host families is a unique experience that has shaped my life in many ways. Not just mine, but the lives of my children. I even have a video where I interviewed my daughter about what it was like being raised with folks from other countries living in our home. Here is a link to the YouTube video if you are curious:

Meanwhile, here is a photo of us at the airport with our very first foreign exchange student from Russia and my friend Tanya, the local coordinator at the time.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about what it’s like living with — or working with –teenagers from around the world, please reach out to me. Or visit this link!

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

(aka Deb)

Host Family Referral Form – complete this form and if the family you refer is new to Greenheart and ends up hosting a qualifying student, you will earn a $200 Visa gift card!

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I Named Him Rubbish

What is the thing that holds you back?  What is that elephant in the room that you refuse to acknowledge?  Who is your nemesis?  Is it you?  Is it fear?  Is it anxiety?  What is it going to take for you to slay this dragon?  Well first, you have to name the thing.

Once you name your dragon, then you can slay that sucker.  Admitting the silly beast exists is half the battle, yes?  Or admitting that it does NOT exist so you can move past it – that is also progress, my friends.

Once upon a time, I could not hurl my big butt into an inner tube … you know the kind you float in water and enjoy?  Even though I am now much smaller and know that I am capable of such a thing, there is still this twinge of anxiety that is residual from the days of morbid obesity.

Story time: While on a mini road trip with my three sons, we went to this huge spring fed pool, that had little fish in there and everything.  Some of the water was 25 feet deep.  This place had a high dive, whoa … and inner tubes.   So what was a mama to do in this situation?  Well, this mama got her butt into an inner tube and also managed to jump off the high dive, that’s what.  You know what else?  I loved doing it even more than I thought I would.

Life is good when you name your dragons so they can be slain.   I named mine Rubbish … since my fear of not fitting into the tube was pure rubbish.

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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What is the next little thing?

Hmmm… what is the next itty bitty thing?

Do you realize that you are right where you need to be to take the next step? There’s absolutely nothing about your present circumstances that prevents you from making progress. All you have to decide is what to do next (just the next itty bitty step). It really is that simple. You don’t have to have it all figured out to take that next step and move forward. Just do the best you can until you know better. Once you know better, do better.

Remember: Never make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions. Many people make choices and plans when things aren’t going so well. They look for relief in the despair of the valley; instead of waiting for the clarity that comes from being on the mountaintop. . . The best time to make decisions is when you’re succeeding — or calm! If you fight your way through the valley, you’ll make better decisions at the summit.

I am pretty sure nobody is going to stand up at your funeral and state that you had an amazing couch and fabulous shoes.  Life is not about things, stuff and junk.  It’s about memories, experiences and feeling alive.  It’s about impacting other people, in a positive way.  So what is the next itty bitty thing that you need to do in order to move forward? If you don’t know the answer to that question, take a deep breath ~ and figure it out. Go get yourself that very next AHA moment !

As always, make champion choices,
The Healthy Habit Lady

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